Travel industry welcomes lifting of inbound traveler pre-departure testing

U.S. Travel Association President/CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s announcement that the pre-departure testing requirement for inbound air travelers to the U.S. will be lifted on June 12:

“Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States. The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry.

“International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector. More than half of international travelers in a recent survey pointed to the pre-departure testing requirement as a major deterrent for inbound travel to the U.S.

“Prior to the pandemic, travel was one of our nation’s largest industry exports. The lifting of this requirement will enable the industry to lead the way toward a broader U.S. economic and jobs recovery.

“A new analysis found that repealing the pre-departure testing requirement could bring an additional 5.4 million visitors to the U.S. and an additional $9 billion in travel spending through the remainder of 2022.

“U.S. Travel and our partners advocated tirelessly for months to ensure this requirement would be lifted, pointing to the monumental scientific advancements that have made it possible for us to reach this point. We thank President Biden, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Dr. Ashish Jha and others in the administration for recognizing the immense economic power of travel and its ability to reconnect the U.S. with the global community.”

Morning Consult travel & hospitality analyst Lindsey Roeschke also weighed in on the Biden administration and CDC lifting the testing requirement.

“The anticipated end of testing requirements for inbound U.S. travelers is very welcome news for the travel industry, and international travelers who may have been hesitant to visit the U.S. in favor of other destinations where testing wasn’t a requirement,” she said. “Up to this point, overseas visitation numbers have remained low compared to pre-pandemic times. Among American travelers, domestic trips have far outpaced international in recovery, and while Morning Consult data from the end of May did show a five-point increase in those planning to travel internationally in the coming year, this is still lower than levels measured in 2021. Testing requirements have factored into these numbers: 39% of Americans say testing requirements make them less willing to travel internationally.”